Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Ameni and Juliette Make a Big Decision

They are just 17 and 16 years old...
They are both orphans...
One is Muslim, the other has never believed in God
Their names are Ameni and Juliette...
Juliette has been to 4th grade...
Ameni has never been to any school...
They sell stuff in the back alleys of Kigale to get some food...
They sit in shopkeepers stores, while the owner runs errands or goes to the mosque
They are 2 of my favorite new friends...
like Jambi, and Andrew, and James Juma, and Nadia, and Sasha

I met Ameni and Juliette and her sister, Janet, while looking for wool blankets the other day, and I haven't been able to get them out of my mind since.

Something just connected, especially with this little Islamic girl, Ameni, who from behind her veil and prayer garb, kept asking who we were, and where we were from, and why we were in her country, and in her store, and why we wanted $1000 of blankets and cups and basins and fabric, and who was it for?
why, why, why...

Even though I invited them to come to the Samaritan's Purse Shoebox day...I never really believed they'd find out where it was and actually show up.

At a church clear across town...down a long dirt road...up a hill...behind an iron gate...
We had drivers and cell phones and we could barely find this place...but there they were...
Ameni, in her prayer veil, Juliette, and Janet.

Then all of a sudden, I started to get it...
God was moving in these girl's hearts...
They were leaning into everything we'd say...

Sunday morning, at church...Deliverance Church, with Pastors Joseph and Rose... I was walking up onto the stage to preach at the first of 2 services.
And there they were...
Julliette and Ameni, still in her Muslim garb.
Janet was caught up in feeding her other sister and ran late for the church service.

After the message, I turned the service over to Pastor Rose, to close in prayer.
We offered that if anyone wanted to begin walking a new journey wth Christ to come forward and pray. My heart almost jumped through my chest when I saw these girls, these new friends, get up out of their seats and walk to the front.

Marilyn Mohr and others greeted them as they approached the front of the church and they began to pray.

I watched as Ameni lowered her veil, wrapped it around her shoulder and began praying to Jesus Christ for the first time in her life. Juliette and others joined her in that prayer to confess their sins and failures and to place their faith in the Lord Jesus.

We have been around Ameni now about 5 more the the town a coffee shop...and I have never since seen the Islamic veil...

Pastor Rose took me aside Sunday afternoon and said, "These girls really want to change their lives, Steve. They are sincere." She told me that she would do everything in her power to make sure the girls got in with good Christian girlfriends at their church. Rose said, "Orphans need love, I can assure you they will get that at our church."

Thank you to everyone who paused to pray for these girls to come to the Lord. I believe Janet will soon trust too, but it has to be her decision...not her sister's or friend's choice.



  1. It's difficult to type through tears...
    Wow - I'm going to read and read some more the story of your new friends coming to Christ. What an awesome moment that must have been seeing them there walking forward. We sure were praying for this Steve. Thank you for helping us all travel along with you.
    Hugs to your new friends in Christ and praying Janet will soon join them.

  2. Thanks Steve,

    for doing what you do... and letting God do what He does. Praising God for new sisters in The Kingdom!

    blessings brother,


  3. Steve,
    Thank you so much for this blog. I love technology!
    Here I sit, a stay at home mom praying for three girls half way around the world. I may not be able to go on a mission trip just yet but I can participate in prayer. Thank you for letting us be a part of this. It is a true blessing.
    Praise the Lord for the work He has done!
    Kim Tjepkema

  4. Steve, I'm sitting here in my comy chair in Foothill Ranch with tears flowing down my face. I'm not a "crier" either. Tey are tears of joy for Ameni and Juliette's decision, for your willingness to love everyone you come in contact with, my desire to be there with you, and more importantly hearing how God intersects lives and changes hearts everyday. OMG, how incredible is that?!? I'm just overwhelmed.
    God bless you, Steve. Praying for you as our rip continues! Jim D.

    P.S. Say "hey" to Ron and Mary, praying for them too.

  5. Pastor Steve:

    You probably can guess that I am not often speechless. No words can adequately express how I feel at this moment. I am just sitting here in awe of God's amazing love and grace. Praise God!

    Your example of obedience to God to go where he sends you and serve as he directs is an inspiration to Scott and me. Praise God!

    Thanks for sharing. You should write a book. You could call it "Just Say Yes."

    Mary and Scott

  6. Steve,

    Your inspiring style of writing makes me feel like I am right there with you (and boy, do I wish I was!).

    I praise God for my new sisters in the Kingdom! You just never know the impact of a conversation or invitation to an event!!!

    Thank you for including such terrific pictures...I know they are a hassle to upload, but totally worth it! Those shoebox pictures are priceless and should be distributed to all the churches/schools that put together shoeboxes! I still remember how awesome it was to give them out in Ukraine! The difference it makes in the life of that one child is beyond words! So grateful for the pictures!

    Thank you again for "bringing us along" on your trip via this blog!

  7. Pastor Steve, I didn't get to the blog to read the original post until AFTER Ameni and Juliette accepted Christ, so I will pray that God surrounds them with positive Christian women to help in their early walk with Jesus. I am also praying that Janet sees visible evidence in her sister's and friend's life, and that she will soon be ready to accept Jesus as her Lord and Savior, too. Thanks for being obedient to the Spirit, and for enabling us to be a part of it all.


  8. Hi Pastor Steve!

    Wow....How exciting to be apart of this!!!! Sounds like everything is going well. Please tell Floyd and Marilyn hello. I'm not sure who else is with you but I saw others in your pictures. We are praying for you!!!!!

    Love you man!!